My favorite Digital Photography equipment review site has sold itself to Amazon.com. I’ve enjoyed reading their reviews even when I wasn’t shopping for a camera. At first I was concerned there would be changes but that doesn’t seem to be the case, at least in the staff and content. But Phil Askey, who started DPReview will be sticking around.
I was a little surprised (well, not too surprised) about the number of commenters in the DPReview forums who considered it a sell out. While I’m as willing as the next guy to see big business as evil I don’t think that’s a foregone conclusion that Amazon will gut the place. I doubt Amazon bought the place to shut it down and fold it into their website.
Instead, I would hope that the resources of Amazon would help the site grow. There’s often a delay between when a Camera is released and when the review appears. It would also be nice to see more camera reviews along with reviews of lenses and accessories. If it’s going to be owned by a company Amazon may be one of the better ones to be the owner.
They sell most cameras that will be reviewed and aren’t reliant on camera related advertising. Like most retailers there may be manufacturer promotions or incentives but that’s fairly easy to keep from affecting the reviews. Sure, they could also bias the reviews if they wanted to, a there are people who will think they are no matter what, if you trusted the reviews in the past, there’s no reason not to trust them now. If Phil quits in a month or two then it might be a different story. While DPReview has posted comparitive prices it’s never been a shopping service. The post the prices as a way for people to buy the cameras and support DPReview since the would get a cut (I assume) for the click.
Of course, I may be biased. Last week I researched a new point-and-shoot digital at DPReview and ordered it from Amazon.com over the weekend.
No doubt the site will change, hopefully (and probably) it will be even better.